3/11/2005

Obama tees off on Bush

From the Chicago Tribune:
Sen. Barack Obama on Thursday called President Bush's suggestion that African-Americans could reap greater rewards from overhauling Social Security a "stunning" argument that ignored the true health issues facing blacks in this country. As the president launched a two-day tour through the South to build support for his controversial plan to revamp Social Security, Democrats challenged a White House assertion that blacks would particularly gain from Bush's proposed private retirement accounts because they have fewer years to collect benefits considering they die younger.
"It is puzzling to me that we are even having this debate about whether Social Security is good or not for African-Americans," said Obama, an Illinois Democrat. "I frankly found the statement that the president made somewhat offensive...There is no doubt a disparity in the lifetime opportunities between white America and black America. The notion that we would cynically use those disparities as a rationale for dismantling Social Security as opposed to talking about how are we going to close the health disparities gap that exists, and make sure that African-American life expectancy is as long as the rest of this nation ... is stunning to me."

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